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Steve Spurrier Honored at Inaugural Nick Saban Legacy Awards

Chris Doering was honored to attend the inaugural Nick Saban Legacy Awards in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 2, 2022. Presented by the Monday Quarterback Club, The Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation, and Coach Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, and the late Eddie Robinson of Grambling State were awarded.

The award was established to honor the lifetime achievements and lasting impact of noteworthy college football coaches and their contributions to the game. Spurrier, a Heisman Trophy winner and former head coach at Duke University, the University of Florida, and the University of South Carolina, led Florida to a national championship in 1996 and 6 SEC championship victories. Teams under Spurrier were SEC Eastern Division champions 8 times, and his overall head coaching record was 217-79. Named ACC Coach of the Year twice and SEC Coach of the Year 7 times, he is credited with developing players like Danny Wuerffel, Chris Doering, and Emmitt Smith, as well as countless coaches.

Of Spurrier’s legacy, Saban said, “We need personalities in this profession. We need characters. We need people who inspire people to be interested in our game, and there’s no bigger personality, no bigger character that ever did that in my mind than Steve Spurrier, and he does not get the credit for the impact that he had on the game. He revolutionized the game that you see right now.”

Renting? 4 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Home

We’ve written a lot about the home buying process over the years, but why should you even consider buying a home? Many people today prefer renting or think that owning a home is out of their reach, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

It can be a big commitment when you buy a home, but it comes with so many benefits. We’ve highlighted four reasons why you should buy a home.

1. Tax Benefits

There are many tax benefits that come with home ownership. These breaks help offset some of your costs:

  • The interest and mortgage insurance you pay on your mortgage is tax deductible.
  • If you bought mortgage points, they’re tax deductible in the year that you bought them.
  • Property taxes that are apart of your monthly payment are deductible.
  • The money you make on the sale of your home (up to $250,000 or $500,000 if you’re married and filed jointly) is tax-free if you have owned the home for at least two years and put the money you make towards the purchase of a new house.

2. Appreciation

Homes generally appreciate in value over time, meaning that the longer you own your home the more valuable it becomes. While there are ups and downs in the housing market, owning a home is generally a smart investment.

When buying a home make sure you consider the area, the condition of the home, and how much land it has. Homes in good condition and in good areas hold their value and generally become more valuable over time.

3. Equity

Home equity is the difference between what you owe on your home and what the house is worth on the market. You can gain equity on your home in two ways:

  • The longer you own your home (and pay down your mortgage) the more equity you have (assuming the value of your home doesn’t dramatically decrease over time).
  • The more your home appreciates in value the more equity you have.

Equity takes time to build, but it is worth it. Investing in your home can have major returns down the road, and leaves you with something of greater value than when you started.

4. Savings

Depending on the market you live in, buying a home can lead to major savings when compared to renting. When you factor in the equity you’re generating, the tax breaks that come with home ownership, and the increase in the value of your property, a home is going to save you money in the long run and leave you with something of value that you won’t get if you rent.

The longer you’re planning on staying in an area, the smarter it is to buy a home. This calculator can help you calculate how long you’d have to live in your home before you start saving money compared to renting an apartment.

Let us Know How We Can Help

The home buying process can be both intimidating and overwhelming. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. But if you want the freedom, stability, and predictability of living in your own home – we can help you get started. Reach out today.

What You Need to Know About Foreclosed Homes

When a homeowner is no longer able to afford their mortgage payments and ceases to make their payments, the mortgage lender is forced to take ownership of the home. When this happens, the home goes through what is called a foreclosure and will go up for sale to a new owner.

If you are willing to navigate some of the challenges inherent in purchasing a foreclosure, they can be a financially friendly option. However, there are a few things you’ll want to know before making the decision to buy a foreclosure.

Foreclosures Can be Financially Friendly

Often times, the lender who owns the foreclosed home is eager to sell the home at a discounted price to remove the house from their books. For this reason, foreclosures can be a great option for a home shopper looking for a larger home, or interested in a certain neighborhood that would be typically outside of their budget.

Before you start the buying process, make sure that you check comparable prices around the neighborhood to make sure you understand what level of discount you may be getting.

They May Require More Work

One reason a foreclosure may be discounted is because of the amount of work it requires. The home was foreclosed on because the previous homeowner didn’t have the funds to pay their mortgage, which may mean that they may not have been able to keep the home in good shape.

The longer a home is vacant, the more susceptible it is to vandalism and theft. Break-ins and property damage aren’t unusual and can lead to costly repairs and fixes. Here are some additional issues that may be a problem the longer a house is unoccupied:

  • Mold
  • Vermin
  • Broken pipes
  • Missing wiring
  • Ripped out appliances
  • Structural damage

This is why it is even more crucial to have the home inspected prior to purchasing. If the remodeling is severe, what seemed like a financially good deal may no longer fit your budget taking the repair expenses into consideration.

There May Be Red Tape

Buying a foreclosed home requires extra steps not present in the typical home buying process. It can take weeks to hear back on an offer you put down on a home. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will secure the home during that time because the lenders selling the home will wait as long as possible to make sure they’re getting the best deal.

Patience is the key, but it is not always possible. If you are looking for a new home and need to move in quickly, foreclosures may not be the best option. Along with longer closing times, the previous owner may need to be evicted, which in itself can be a long and difficult process.

Other Things to Consider

Securing a mortgage for a foreclosure can be difficult for several reasons:

  • If you haven’t worked out financing before you put an offer down, the home may go to someone else.
  • Not all lenders will loan money for distressed properties. Make sure that you know who will offer a loan on a foreclosure.
  • FHA and VA loans may not be an option because they often require the home to be in good working condition.
  • Conventional mortgages may appraise the value of the home low based on its condition and require improvements before you secure the loan. Unfortunately, foreclosures often require you to buy the home as-is.

If you need help navigating the process of buying a foreclosure, your first step is getting pre-approved. Understand the challenges that may be ahead, and weigh them against some of the pains and aggravations.

We are here to help make the home-buying process easy and headache free. If you need help and are interested in buying a foreclosed home, come in and see us. We can help walk you through the pre-approval process and work with you so that you can get into the home of your dreams.

FHA Loans vs. USDA Loans: What You Need to Know

There are so many home loan programs out there when you begin to shop for mortgages. Understanding the differences can be daunting and confusing, but understanding a little about your options can be very empowering.

There are two popular home loan programs offered by government agencies: The Federal Housing Agency (FHA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Each program has different qualifications and features. Know the differences so that you can get the best deal for your home loan.

USDA Loans

USDA loans are designed to make home buying feasible for families with lower to average income. If you are interested in buying a home in suburban or rural areas, USDA loans may be for you. There are two different types of USDA loans: Direct and Guaranteed.

Direct Loan

Direct loans are strictly for low-income borrowers. If your income level is less than 50% of the average income in your area, direct loans backed by the USDA can help. Here are some of the qualifications from the USDA:

Applicants must fall into the following categories:

  • Be without decent, safe and sanitary housing
  • Unable to get a loan from other sources
  • The home you’re buying must be your primary residence
  • Must be legally allowed to secure a loan
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or meet the non-citizen qualifications
  • Properties financed with direct loan funds must:
  • Generally be 2,000 square feet or less
  • Not have a market value in excess of the applicable area loan limit
  • Not have in-ground swimming pools
  • Not be designed for income producing activities

Guaranteed Loan

Guaranteed loans guarantee that the USDA will refund the lender in case of default. Applicants can build or purchase a home in eligible rural areas.

You can view the qualifications on our information page about USDA loans. If you have questions or think you qualify for a USDA loan, let us know and our experts will be happy to help through the home buying process.

FHA Loans

When compared to conventional home loans, FHA loans have less strict requirements. The Federal Housing Association was started in the 1930’s to help Americans get into homes.

FHA loans are an attractive option because they typically have competitive interest rates, lower down payments, lower credit requirements and higher debt-to-income ratio allowances.

To qualify you must be willing to provide your credit history and employment history, as well as other documentation.

Qualifications will be based on:

  • Housing Types, State, and County
  • Debt to Income Ratios
  • Acceptable Source of Down Payment and Closing Costs
  • Acceptable Credit History

Which Is the Right Choice?

Your financial situation is one of the biggest determinants when deciding between an FHA or USDA loan. Both loan types are great for first time home buyers, families with lower incomes, and buyers with lower credit scores.

Rely on the Experts

Navigating these choices can be difficult and it helps to have experts on your side. Chris Doering Mortgage has a team with decades of experience and fully understands how daunting it can be to secure a home loan. We will work with you and help you make the right choice. Reach out today to get started!

What You Need to Know About Condo Loans

Condominiums can be a great low cost, low maintenance solution when you are choosing where to live. Unfortunately, receiving financing for a condo can be more challenging than receiving a conventional loan on a traditional home.

What You Need to Qualify

Loan qualifications for a condo loan are often more stringent and there are a few things to consider when applying for a condo loan:

  • You may need a larger down payment to get the best mortgage rate for your condo.
  • The homeowners association for the condo complex may have additional financial qualifications before you can buy a unit in their complex.
  • Lenders look at not only your financial standing, but also the financial standing of the developers. Different loan programs have different requirements for the condo developers.
  • The condominium complex must hold a certain amount of HOA fees in reserve to satisfy most lenders.

Often condo loans are harder to secure because not all the requirements apply to you, the home buyer. If the developers are financially irresponsible or noncompliant, many lenders won’t give out a loan. When looking at condos make sure that you can trust the developers of the complex you are looking to move into.

Warrantable vs. Non-warrantable Condos

Condo loans are either classified as “warrantable” or “non-warrantable”. Non-warrantable condos are considered risky and can be challenging to finance. Often you’ll need to procure a loan from a specialty lender. Condotels, timeshares, and complexes that require buyers to join an ownership club (like a golf club), are most often considered non-warrantable.

Warrantable condo loans are determined to be more stable by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, government-sponsored agencies that determine guidelines for buying homes. Here are some typical requirements for a condo to be considered warrantable:

  • No single person or entity owns more than 10% of the development, including the developer.
  • Over half of the units must be occupied by owners.
  • There is less than 25% commercial space set aside in the development.
  • The homeowners association has never been litigated against.

Warrantable condos are much easier to obtain loans for because they are considered stable by lenders. Make sure you take extra time to find warrantable condos when looking for a new home.

Don’t Forget About the Homeowners Association

One thing home buyers often forget about when they look to buy a condo is the added cost of the homeowners’ association fees. These fees are often monthly and should be included when considering what you can afford.

Homeowners association (HOA) fees often provide certain services that offset some of the cost and provide convenience to the homeowner, such as:

  • Lawn Care. This means that you don’t have to mow the lawn or trim the bushes.
  • Pest Control. Many HOAs schedule inspection and treatment from a pest control company to avoid pest infestations.
  • Exterior Maintenance. Roof and siding repairs that may come up are often covered, potentially saving you money on what would be a costly repair.

Combined with a higher down payment, condos can require a lot of upfront work for the home buyer. Make sure that you can afford both the HOA fees and your mortgage before you apply for a mortgage loan for a condo.

We Are Here to Help

You don’t have to figure out how to obtain a condo mortgage loan alone. At Chris Doering Mortgage, we have years of experience in all types of loans and we can help you. Call us or come by the office and we will help you through the entire process.

Let’s Hear Your Voice Contestant Winner Anounced

Chris Doering Mortgage has been a proud sponsor of the Let’s Hear Your Voice contest held for local Gainesville elementary and middle schools. Contestants were asked to submit a music video showing what a music program means to their school. There were many worthy entries, but ultimately Rawlings Elementary School won.

Their victory meant $1100 in scholarships and a chance to meet Season 13 The Voice singer, Dylan Gerard. You can see their winning entry here.

Our teammates Judd Davis and Chris Moebus were there to spend time with the victors and present their check. Congratulations to Rawlings Elementary on your fantastic victory, we were proud to be apart of it!